It's bittersweet at best. Health Canada has issued an exemption to Vancouver's Insite, the city's clean needle injection site. That's not to say the battle is over. Despite the clear ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Harper regime has put Insite on a year-to-year exemption meaning the Vancouver authorities will have to run the regulatory gauntlet every year.
Vancouver Coastal Health is required to apply for an annual exemption to operate Insite.
"We know Insite works," says Coastal Health chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly, in a written statement.
"Thousands of overdose deaths have been prevented, the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C have been reduced, and clients can more easily connect to health services like detox and primary health care," she says.
The Harper regime this week passed the Orwellian named Bill C-2, The Respect for Communities Act, which is a vehicle to heap layers of federal disrespect on communities like Vancouver.
"VCH is troubled by the numerous conditions set out in the new legislation," she said.
Donald MacPherson, spokesman for the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, said he believes the government purposely created Bill C-2 to discourage new sites from opening
"Supervised consumption sites are a response to a very dire situation," he said.
Update: Alison, of Creekside, sent along a link to a 2010 Paul Wells article from Maclean's that I hadn't read. This post needs to be considered in light of that article from 5-years ago. It's proof positive of the malevolent character of this Harper government and the partisan political role the RCMP plays in it. Thank you, Alison.
Also check out Troy's comment. Troy, a very eloquent, British Columbia First Nation, has known the streets of East Vancouver. This disgrace churns in him.
Hey, remember this?
Tony Clement turned up at the Health committee in 2008 with one of the 'authors' of the RCMP's Insite report in tow. Guy worked for a Canadian offshoot of Drug Prevention Network of the Americas.
How can one government be so wrong on just about everything? It boggles the mind. Do they have a two minute hate every morn for everything science that isn't fossil fuel energy centric engineering?
This shouldn't even be political. It's a medical issue that should be handled by people who've trained damn near their entire adult lives, who've studied this in detail. Not some schmucks from Bay Street, who probably don't shop for their own groceries, let alone cook their own meals. Who've never done anything remotely close to what 'real' people gotta do on a daily basis.
Out of touch!
Godammit! I've lived in the downtown Eastside, and those people need medical help, not fucking wedge politics! The only thing Harper wants to give 'em all is prison time. Fuck! Fuck him!
Seriously, fuck. I've got friends and family there still, and I want the best for them if they ever need help. And Insite's the best.
Shit. Consider how bad the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta had it just recently. Two dead, and two in the hospital from a bad drug. Consider how quickly that shit would spread in Vancouver? Insite prevents that. And when it happens, and it will and does, Insite is first there. The police aren't trained for it, and hospitals are overworked enough as it is. Insite saves lives. Insite changes lives.
But those are the wrong kind of lives, I suppose. They don't vote Harper, and they probably aren't in any important tax bracket. When they move, nothing shakes. And when they shake, nothing moves.
In the end, it becomes more murder by numbers for Harper. His polices have killed people, namely the Listoria outbreak, and this, too. Stupid wars, and moronic policies.
His government's policies murder and rob people. He's a crook, and he makes Canada a worse place, everyday. He's scum. Harper is scum.
@ Alison. Thanks so much for the link. I hadn't read Wells article. What I found in it was not only proof positive of the malevolence of the Harper cabal but also even more evidence that the RCMP has become a partisan political agency of the PMO.
@ Troy - how can they be so wrong? They choose to be wrong. They're proud of it. It suits them and their purposes.
They're utterly and blatantly malevolent yet their supporters aren't deterred by that. I suppose there's some ominous meaning in that.
You're right, Troy. In any decent democracy this wouldn't be a political issue. It's a medical and a public health issue and, because it affects all of us, even if somewhat tangentially, no one responsible would make it a political football. There are lives, neighbourhoods, entire communities impacted by this and they're full of good, honest, productive citizens. Why not just do it for them?
Welcome to Harper and his evangelical base's morality. They think it is immoral to take drugs, so they exercise their political authority to close the safe sites. There is no reason for the gov. to be focused on these vulnerable people at all. It is a medical issue period.
Well, on the "social" side, the Harper government does the politics of finding people to punish. People who don't look like "us", with "us" being pudgy, pasty white older males with a good income. People who lack moral perfection. People who must be evil because God didn't give them very much money.
There's a poem whose origin I forget--
If we could climb the highest steeple
and look around at all the people
and shoot all those not wholly good
as we, like noble shooters, should
Why then there'd be an only worry--
Who would there be left to bury
The Cons would cut it off after "not wholly good" and then finish with "That would be GREAT!!!"
You are one prolific writer Mound. I love coming here and reading your thoughts on such wide ranging topics.
Demonizing the poor is popular these days in the meritocracy. That is how the executive class gets to justify their wealth. They work hard, don't you know, and besides, hockey players!
Troys comment nails it. Thanks Troy.
I read an interesting study recently about addiction. The author concluded that addiction is caused primarily by pain. He had read earlier studies of rats in small cages, given the choice of clear water or heroin water that concluded that X % of the population had addictive personalities. The author then made the leap of imagination to ask the question, What if the rats were more comfortable? So he ran the experiment with the rats in large cages, with many toys and mazes to play with. The rate of addiction dropped considerably.
Thanks to all your efforts Mound. The great comments on your posts are always worth the read too.
Kim, coming from you this is high praise indeed although perhaps not as convincingly deserved as you suggest.
I do it to be in contact with people to whom I can say, "look - this is happening and it just doesn't add up." I'm just not a fan of the direction in which we're heading.
thanks for sharing your information.
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